Help! I overthink everything and it’s stressing me out


Dear Friend,

I overthink too much, no matter how small the problem. I am too sensitive to details and it stresses me out. How do I stop? How do I stop obsessing over everything?

Sincerely, Overthinker



Dear Overthinker,

We understand why you’re so stressed about overthinking; it can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. Obsessing over small details can prevent you from getting important things done and wreck your mood, not to mention that overthinking in relationships could make you overanalyse conversations, which could create misunderstandings or lead you to withdraw from social situations altogether.

Here are some self-help tips we hope can help reduce your stress and anxiety and improve your overall well-being:

Notice when you’re stuck

If you’re replaying an event over and over in your mind or can’t stop worrying about something, acknowledge what is going on and that it isn’t productive. Start paying attention to how you think so you can be aware of when you’re stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts. It isn’t good to dwell on problems, but it is helpful to look for solutions – if the issue is something you have control over.

Let’s say you’re nervous about an upcoming exam, and you’re replaying the worst-case scenario – failing – in your head. Think about ways to prevent the problem, such as developing a study schedule or revising the materials with your parents. If you keep your focus on problem-solving instead of obsessing over what could happen, you will feel less anxious and more in control of the situation.

However, if you’re obsessing over a situation you have no control over, think about coping strategies instead. Focus on things you can control, such as your attitude, rather than worrying about the problem itself.

Schedule thinking time

Obsessing about your problems isn’t productive, but some reflection can be useful. Schedule a block of “thinking time” into your daily schedule and use that time – say, 20 minutes a day – to let yourself worry or think about whatever you want. Set a timer, and move on to something else when the time is up. If you start worrying or obsessing over problems outside your scheduled time, remind yourself to wait to address those issues until your next thinking time.

Practise mindfulness

Finally, start practising relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing and mindfulness. These activities could help you feel more calm and relaxed, and mindfulness will help you become more aware of the present and less anxious about what could be. You can find plenty of guided relaxation exercises online or on mobile apps.

If you find these tips don’t help you stop overthinking and your distress significantly affects your everyday life, do not hesitate to seek out a counsellor, psychologist or healthcare professional. They can help you identify the possible causes of your anxiety and give advice that will allow you to manage and improve your condition.

Hope that helps, Friend of a Friend


Source: Young Post